Skip to main content

Retail Tech Roundup: Alliance Data Pays $450M for Bread, B8ta Nabs Re:store

The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.

Installment payments

Alliance Data/Bread

Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a provider of co-branded and private-label credit cards for businesses, has acquired installment payments platform provider Bread for an estimated $450 million, of which approximately $100 million is Alliance Data common stock.

The addition of Bread’s technology platform expands Alliance Data’s payment offering to include pay-over-time products, expected to be available for Alliance Data brand partners. Upon the transaction’s closing, Alliance Data will bring in Bread’s full team of approximately 185 employees and more than 400 Bread installment loan or “buy now, pay later” clients.

Bread’s payment solutions, coupled with Alliance Data’s Enhanced Digital Suite, will improve the digital customer experience and support increased acquisition and checkout rates. With a diverse suite of payment products, Alliance Data aims to appeal to younger, digitally native millennial consumer base.

Retail-as-a-service

B8ta/Re:store

B8ta, a “retail-as-a-service” platform that dedicates space to an assortment of unique technology products on behalf of brands that want a physical presence, has acquired Re:store, a startup that is delivering a similar service to online fashion brands at its Maiden Lane community hub in San Francisco. The move further extends B8ta’s electronics and technology-driven roots into fashion and lifestyle.

Related Stories

The acquisition price was not disclosed. Re:store will keep the licensing rights, but B8ta will manage the business side.

Re:store, founded in August 2019 by Selene Cruz, has worked with retailers and brands like H&M’s & Other Stories, Nasty Gal, M.M.LaFleur and Thinx. The startup created its retail-as-a-service technology to let stores and brands manage their merchandising, buying and logistics from one dashboard.

In October 2019, B8ta launched its Forum concept store in Los Angeles, marking the company’s introduction into fashion and lifestyle retail. Now, B8ta is rebranding Re:store’s Maiden Lane business within the Forum platform, enabling brand partners of Re:store to expand to West Hollywood, and other B8ta locations such as New York City’s Hudson Yards.

“This acquisition is a big win in our mission to create a true fashion-meets-tech platform,” Cruz said in a statement. “We’re excited to finally be able to tap into our waitlist of brands and give them access to omni retail beyond Maiden Lane. Between b8ta’s massive network of stores and strong execution performance in such a short time, and our thoughtful approach to curation, storytelling and customer experience, we’re excited to work with their team to push for a new future of retail.”

B8ta licenses its store operations technology to other retailers and works with partners such as Made by Google and The Market @ Macy’s concept, even helping resurrect the Toys ‘R’ Us brand in select stores during the 2019 holiday season. B8ta has raised over $88.5M in funding and is part owned by Macy’s, Inc.

RFID

Detego/Microsoft

RFID platform provider Detego is joining Microsoft’s FastTrack and co-sponsorship programs to accelerate the deployment of its platform’s advanced “smart features” including its automated store planograms and in-store money mapping.

As part of Microsoft’s FastTrack program, Detego will be working alongside Microsoft architects as they continue to further build out its RFID platform. The aim is to build upon the scalable model of the platform as well as develop new smart features that leverage artificial intelligence and big data.

Alongside Microsoft, Detego’s data science team will continue to develop these smart features. Leonid Sokolovskiy, Detego’s director of software development, said hosting the platform on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service “has always been vital” for the company.

Detego‘s customers include international fashion brands, retailers and department stores, with the platform in use in more than 2,000 stores and 15 distribution centers. The SaaS platform is designed to deliver fast ROI through improved stock accuracy, product availability and better decision making gained from the item-level data, combined with comprehensive reporting.

Fraud protection

Signifyd

E-commerce fraud and chargeback protection company Signifyd has inked partnerships with popular brands apparel and accessories brands Vera Bradley and Groupe Dynamite, alongside furniture brand Lovesac to provide commerce protection and order flow automation.

Signifyd’s Commerce Protection Platform is empowering all three brands to practice fearless commerce online by providing its Revenue Protection and Abuse Prevention solutions.

The Commerce Protection Platform provides three primary solutions, starting with Revenue Protection, which is designed to automate order review while sifting fraudulent orders from legitimate ones. The Abuse Prevention feature aims to prevent financial losses from consumers taking advantage of corporate policies while automating the process for chargebacks that do occur. Finally, the Payments Compliance solution seeks to provide retailers with a seamless strong customer authentication (SCA) solution and future-proof a merchant’s payment systems in the face of evolving regulations, such as PSD2 in Europe.

“With our scaling e-commerce business and need to support customers in new ways, we knew it was the time to rid ourselves of legacy technology and find more effective solutions,” said Ted Guglielmi, head of digital transformation at Canada-based Groupe Dynamite, the parent of apparel retailers Garage and Dynamite. “That means having the data to understand which customers are legitimate shoppers, the automation in place to make decisions in real time and the ability to scale processes up to match demand at its peak, like it was during the pandemic and will be again this holiday season.”

Product photography

Ortery Technologies

Ortery Technologies has released the StylePad, a tool designed specifically for clothing photography that can be optimized for an e-commerce site. The StylePad enables users to stylize and photograph apparel in natural hanging, flat lay or angled lay positions. The tool works with any camera and lights, but can be using in conjunction with Ortery LiveStudio LED lights and software to automate all apparel photography on pure white and transparent backgrounds.

Ortery StylePad and LiveStudio LED Lights

The aluminum StylePad also comes with a sturdy 53-by-75-inch shooting frame built to be large enough to photograph all types of clothing including tops, bottoms, jackets and full-length apparel. In addition, it can be used as a background or for photographing creative combos of clothing and accessories.

The StylePad is designed so that it requires no previous photography experience by the user. When placed horizontally, users can lay, pin and fasten their apparel to the cloth background. Once the clothing is set, users can adjust the StylePad to the desired angle to take pictures.

The shooting area locks in place while lying flat like a table, vertical or at any angle in between. The angles can be noted and reused for increased photo consistency. The durable cloth overlay is specially designed to stay taught long after the initial installation. Additionally, the cloth can have pin after pin stuck through it without showing any signs of wear in their pictures.

The StylePad includes a special accessory for photographing clothes as they hang on a clothes hanger. The hanging stud attaches to the top of the aluminum frame and clothes hangers are hung on the included fishing line attached to the hanging stud. This method of shooting clothes on a hanger produces a clean image where the hanger and clothing appear to be floating in midair.

Logistics

VeriShip/Sifted

VeriShip, a shipping expense optimization platform, has merged with data science-driven predictive logistics platform Sifted to create a transformational cloud-based analytics engine for logistics.

The combined platform now has the goal to dramatically reduce transportation expenses for shippers, while optimizing for delivery times and best-in-class customer experiences. The companies will merge capabilities under the Sifted brand, and all clients will migrate to the new platform and will gain immediate access to 360-degree analytics of their data.

VeriShip CEO Shawn McCarrick said the merger is designed to help today’s overwhelmed shippers who “are constantly blindsided by carrier changes, and they’re expected to fulfill shipments on time, implement new systems, manage inventory problems, and improve efficiencies, all while keeping costs in check.”

The company is backed by global growth equity investor Summit Partners.

This marks the second transaction for VeriShip in the last year, following its December 2019 acquisition of Valence, a software and managed service company that tracks Amazon’s operational errors for sellers in its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

VeriShip’s and Sifted’s clients range from small and medium businesses to enterprise-level organizations, with VeriShip having helped over 5,000 businesses optimize shipping expenses on nearly 1.5 billion packages since 2005.

PIM

InRiver

InRiver, a provider of product information management (PIM), has secured $32 million in funding led by Lugard Road Capital, a leading global investment firm. The funding will support the company’s growth initiatives and plans to meet accelerated customer demand, continued product development and further global expansion.

In particular, InRiver is looking to accelerate expansions in its highest growth market, North America, as well as open new growth markets across Europe. It will also help inRiver continue to build more partnerships and alliances.

The InRiver platform is designed to improve time to market by giving buyers more access to product data feeds including ERP, PLM and other systems and enabling theme to automate product content across all touch points. This product content can be syndicated to reach new channels, marketplaces, wholesalers or data pools, and can be optimized and formatted to meet any standards or regulations across the globe.